Letters Home, Chapter 1: the Grand Tour
taken by partylikechewie
Oct 16 2006
|Story Type: Original|
Content Cautions: Absolutely none, though if you're insanely extremely agoraphobic you might find this story a little squicky in the implications. As you can tell from the picture. :-> Other than that, G-rated and innocuous.
Critique: Very welcome, no kid gloves needed.
Summary: Kids always move away in diasporas to the Frontier, but sometimes they still write home. Quite short. Possibly first in a series.
Terran date: June 11th, 2062
Sorry it's been so long since I wrote, but here's some pictures to make up for it. You know how I am when things get busy. After a long day's work slaving over the electrons one of the last things I want to do is sit down and stare at a screen trying to write ...
I finally got my permanent residency permit! That's right, your baby girl is now officially a Lilliputian. There is a traditional hazing ritual-cum-celebration for flatlanders like me who decide we want to belong -- the Grand Tour.
I don't know how much detail I went into before about exactly how Lillivaran's put together, but think of us like a big soda can spinning in space, only with a giant novelty pencil shoved through the middle and a bunch of stuff welded on the outside skin. The farms and parks open onto the main cavity, both to scrub the air for us and to give those of us not born vacuumheads somewhere to go and pretend we can see sky. Most of the living quarters and offices are under the farms, since the gravity's better out near the edge; there's a bunch of zero-gee industries in the Spine, which doesn't rotate. That's also where ships dock, since trying to hit a moving target with an airlock is just stupid.
Between the Spine and the farms (which are colloquially called 'Kansas') is 'Tweenspace, a network of catwalks, causeways, and supports, rotating with the outside; it's where they mount the lights and the misters, for one thing. There's also, however, a well-marked and traditional path of clambers and climbs winding through that mess from one end of the can to the other, and I'm sure you can imagine where I'm going with this, now that you've seen the picture! That's Bill next to me, he works in my office and was applying for a permit too, so we went together for company and moral support.
Let me tell you, fifteen miles on the flat in Chicago is NOTHING AT ALL like fifteen miles of catwalks hanging a hundred feet over prime farmland, even with the safety lines -- and even without all your friends standing underneath with binoculars and big orange pennants to cheer and jeer you on.
It's a good thing Bill's holding me up for the picture, because I was just about ready to fall over and sleep for a week. Instead, of course, we went out drinking, which is why my official picture on the permit looks hung-over. But bad ID pictures are as traditional here as back home, so that's all right.
Geez, I gotta go, but I'm going to send this off now anyway, since I've owed you a good letter for weeks. This still isn't it, but it's better than nothing, right? Say hi to Dad, and give Snookums a hug for me. I miss him!